III. CURRENT SITUATION AND MAIN PROBLEMS IN PLANNING
The National Plan of Spatial Development of Belarus was approved by the Council of Ministers in February, 2000.*
The regional plans for oblasts developed until 1992 are not valid. Under the initiative of the Ministry of Architecture and Construction, work on regional plans for all the 6 oblasts of the country have been on-going since 1998.
There are no Master plans for raions in accordance with the Building Normative Act.
Master plans for urban settlements are valid for 112 settlements of the total of 212 or 53% (approved after 1990 and valid until 2010).
Strengths in the planning practice
The legal and normative base created for territorial planning supports and strengthens national management of territories and settlements. The process of urban development is strictly controlled and is often initiated by the national or regional government. It allows to manage migration, maintain employment and good housing for the population, use land resources more rationally and most important - to protect landscapes and biological diversity at the regional and local level.
Main problems in implementation of planning legislation and in planning practice
- The legal and normative base created for territorial planning does not promote democratisation of the planning process. The mechanism of public participation in planning has not been created yet in the country, nor have the issues of appeal in case of disagreement with the planning decisions been solved.
- Existing planning legislation does not promote inclusion of planning decisions in the mechanism of market economy. Urban development projects have no impact on the compensation mechanism of damage nor benefaction of added cost of land caused by planning.
- Lack of local financing for creation of urban planning documentation. Absence of finances extends the process of project development up to 3 - 5 years. In this case preliminary project decisions lose relevance and work has to start anew.
The above-listed problems are supposed to be solved in the new law on" Spatial Planning, Territorial Zoning and Building in the Republic of Belarus". Works on the law-related project has been going on since 1995 at Ministry of Architecture and Construction. It is expected that by the end of the year 2000 the draft of the law will be submitted to the Parliament for consideration.
The Belarus contribution was prepared by Dmitri Semenkevich
Institute for Regional and Urban Planning of Ministry of Architecture and Construction
Tel.: + 375 17 234 00 63